Plotting. A new orange and white quilt.

OK, crow-friends. I understand that you probably hate the phrase ‘eating crow.’ But really, it’s a compliment, right? I mean, you taste SO BAD that you got made into an idiom! Just consider what folks think of your intelligence versus, say, chickens. I say this because I was feasting on you yesterday and I have to admit, you don’t taste all that great.

Of what am I speaking? Well, quilting, of course. As recently as last weekend I continued to claim that I’m “Not much of a quilter.” I freely admitted to recently making a quilt, but, you know. By “quilting” I meant “piecing.” Cutting out scads of teeny, tiny scraps of fabric and sewing them together. Having to pay attention to matching points. All that. I’d MUCH rather, say, set in a sleeve than assemble another @#%^ Log Cabin quilt. I mean, who wouldn’t?

But then two days ago I was (madly) trying to catch up with blog posts – mainly by repeatedly hitting the spacebar in Reader, which (at best) meant I was seeing one out of every three pictures in the posts as the words sped by. But something brought me to a skidding halt… a quilt. On Anna Maria Horner’s blog. And wonder of WONDERS, it was a FREE PATTERN. Here’s my first test block in its intended habitat.

Yes, you terrible tasting freaky birds, it’s a BLOCK. Not only is it a BLOCK, but it’s assembled from pieces that cannot be cut out with a straight edge and a rotary cutter. I’ve got from being “not a quilter” to making a strip quilt to deciding to cut out 216 teeny pieces of fabric by hand and matching up 288 stupid triangle points. I’m even thinking of hand quilting this one. Eating crow, indeed. Watch out featherheads, my next post will likely be about puffy fabric paint and a bedazzler. I’ve clearly gone ’round the crafty-bend.

In ALL seriousness, I’m a bit bemused over my obsession with this pattern. The pattern is the Spinning Stars Quilt from Anna Maria Horner’s blog. Here’s a few images from her post where she introduced the it….

I was QUITE taken with the second image (with the white circles) – I so love what she’s doing with hand needlework lately!

In the interest of total disclosure, I’d already decided to ‘whip up’ two [strip] quilts for my pending living room ‘textile’ rehaul. If you recall, a while ago I posted a few pictures of our new white drapes and a few fabrics to make new pillows in the living room. I’m switching from red and green accents to orange and blue (rust and aqua, that’s just for you if you’re reading mommylap!) Once I stocked up on new pillow and drape fabric I realized that all of my quilts are in the red and green family and what with my level of OCD it would bother me to have quilts that don’t match the pillows. In the winter we are big quilt users because SOMEONE in our house loves to try to freeze the other two someones by turning down the thermostat in the name of cheapskatedness conservation. Since Mr. Bug’s favorite color is blue and mine orange, I thought it’d be fun to make quilts for each of us in our favorite colors. I’d already had the fabric stashed when I came across the pattern.

As funky as the originals are, I wanted a much more simple palette for my version – one of my main colors against a white background. Each of the ‘circles’ in the pattern is made up of eight blocks so I pawed through my orange and blue stash and (of course) had more orange options so I decided that the orange quilt would be the one with all the O’s! Here’s my stack of fabric – it’s a mix of quilt-weight cottons, corduroy, silk, brocade and some upholstery fabric. And a hand towel.

For the background I thought a mix of white and cream was just the ticket. The look of the quilt changes quite a bit, depending on how you place the colors. I considered making the stars between the circles bright white so they’d pop, or conversely making the center of the O’s bright white. Since I’m a total tech-geek-junkie, I had to photoshop my options.

Option A - bright white O's, cream stars

Option B - cream O's, bright white stars

I went with option A – bright white fabric on the inside of the O’s, cream stars. In part I thought that this would mean less of the bright white stuff, which I’ve found is harder to keep pristine with a certain D-O-G in residence. That’s how I made the sample block.

I’m not sure I like this option. I might make another sample with the stars in the brighter fabric. I want to avoid a ‘scrappy’ look, so I’d like to use fewer white fabrics. I’m not sure if it’s easy to see, but I’ve used two each of the bright and cream fabrics. It’s MUCH easier to ‘stagger’ the cream fabrics – i.e. have one corner in one fabric, the next in the other – and keep everything in order. I sort of lost track of which of the bright fabrics was where and so they aren’t staggered in the center of the O’s, which bothers me. I might use just one of the bright white fabrics to get around this. However, if I decide to make the stars bright white and the centers cream there isn’t ONE cream fabric that I love enough to stick with. Hmmmm….

Another option, actually, my FAVORITE option, is to use plain ‘ole bright white cotton for one of the background elements (O’s or stars) and the textured bright white for the other. Two problems with this approach are (1) have you met Lucy the slobber hound? It would be best if I use SOME of the cream in the quilt and (2) the textured white is extra from where we had to trim the new drapes to fit! While I love incorporating the drape fabric in the quilts (and I do love those drapes!) I’m not sure if I have enough, and I don’t really want to buy more  – they are the thicker, more pricey Ikea drapes!

While I turn that over in my head, here’s a shot of the blues for Mr. Bug’s quilt. His will either be strips (just like the wedding quilt) or I will shamelessly copy this quilt, but in aqua and white. Here’s his fabric… I probably need another fabric or two to round things out… That top fabric is a simply gorgeous silk that’s super-loosely woven.

Yay quilts!

Hopefully I’ll get a photoshoot in today of the new dresses I posted a sneaky peek of yesterday! I fully intended to do a photoshoot yesterday, but it continues to be a gazillion degrees out there and I didn’t get to it BEFORE I got to work, and by the time I got back… well, let’s just say that it’s best there’s no photographic records of what this level of humidity does to my hair. Any photos taken would have reminded all you crows of the infamous mugshot of Nick Nolte…